Strict Standards: Non-static method timezone::is_dst() should not be called statically in /home/wag_slake/ on line 2545

Strict Standards: Non-static method timezone::is_supported() should not be called statically in /home/wag_slake/ on line 2713
Slake: Los Angeles—A City and Its Stories


Andrew Ramirez


Andrew Ramirez
Ruben Ruiz pulled into the driveway of his single-story house a little after 7. It was Friday and he was...

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Dirty Girl

Larry Fondation

Dirty Girl

Larry Fondation
Wanda owns a dog but she never takes it for a walk. It shits inside. Sometimes she cleans it up,...

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Editors’ Letter

Joe Donnelly and Laurie Ochoa

Editors’ Letter

Joe Donnelly and Laurie Ochoa

A Thai Love Scene

Jack Lander

A Thai Love Scene

Jack Lander
Pym is strapped into a low-cut silk blouse, sipping warm green tea with lemon and ginger. She is thirtyish, with...

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An Incident with a Stick

Aimee Bender

An Incident with a Stick

Aimee Bender
Ellen always wore her makeup slightly too bright, too happy and positive in color and emphasis, so that all it...

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Bad Road

Christopher Byars

Bad Road

Christopher Byars
When Dale spotted the coyote, he abandoned his westward course and swerved off the highway into the desert, aiming for...

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Matthew Licht


Matthew Licht
The sea talks to me. I don’t mean like, Good morning, how’s it going? The mackerel are extra tasty today....

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Never Built

Greg Goldin and Sam Lubell

Never Built

Greg Goldin and Sam Lubell
Cities boom and bust, and when they’re flush they are alive with architectural bluster. Sometimes this bluster leads to greatness....

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Somebody’s Mother

Dave White

Somebody’s Mother

Dave White
I’m standing in the lobby of a nursing home in Culver City, stunned silent, a funnel cloud of rage slowly...

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Monster’s Fall

Paul Gachot

Monster’s Fall

Paul Gachot
Of the many odd jobs that have filled my days, one in particular stands out. An email I wrote to...

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Arteries of Memory

Lynell George

Arteries of Memory

Lynell George
I. Detour I was sailing along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, making headway on the erstwhile Santa Barbara Boulevard, when road...

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Hell’s Angelopes

Soraya King

Hell’s Angelopes

Soraya King
It’s around midnight and traffic is sparse when more than a hundred bicyclists on short bikes, fat bikes, bikes with...

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Even Years and Continents Later

Lauren Groff

Even Years and Continents Later

Lauren Groff
You remember day; I remember night. You, our stink, a week since Corfu and salt still on our skin; I,...

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Fatal Attraction

Lauren Weedman

Fatal Attraction

Lauren Weedman
A grocery clerk at my local market asks, “How ya doing today?” Normally I like to answer that question with,...

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Elephant’s Skull

Melissa Chadburn

Elephant’s Skull

Melissa Chadburn
During her manic episodes, my bipolar mom would punish me in ways that depended almost entirely on my cooperation. Like,...

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Bride and Groom

Clay Steakley

Bride and Groom

Clay Steakley
He stares at himself in the mirror, pulling at the flesh beneath his left eye with his index finger and...

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55 Steps

Antonia Crane

55 Steps

Antonia Crane
I climb the fifty-five steps to the front door of the tantric temple wearing a soft jersey tube dress, leopard-print...

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Ring Shout in the Rain

Orman Day

Ring Shout in the Rain

Orman Day
I’m going no place wheels can take me. My car’s parked, Carolina rain washes down the unwiped windshield. Between my knees a djembe....

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Free Radical

Iris Berry

Free Radical

Iris Berry
Art Kunkin walks into the Ma Rouge Coffee House in Yucca Valley on a late fall day carrying a large...

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Finnegan’s Wake

Jamie Brisick

Finnegan’s Wake

Jamie Brisick
I first encountered William Finnegan in “Playing Doc’s Games,” a two-part, 39,000-word New Yorker story, back in 1992. As a...

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The Lost City

Michael J. Totten

The Lost City

Michael J. Totten
Lebanon broke my heart. I witnessed the country’s rebirth during the Beirut Spring in 2005, when citizens mounted a peaceful...

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Vanessa Carlisle


Vanessa Carlisle
It’s almost midnight on Tuesday, November 29, 2011, and we’re preparing ourselves for the end of the longest-running Occupy encampment...

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Big Tent Theory

Sam Slovick

Big Tent Theory

Sam Slovick
The air is cool and the ground is damp from a recent downpour when I pitch my tent on one...

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The Boulevard

Erin Aubry Kaplan

The Boulevard

Erin Aubry Kaplan
Everyone but Uncle Royal had a moment that could explain when things went awry, when their ambitions got stifled: Pasqual...

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West of Olive

Joseph Mattson

West of Olive

Joseph Mattson
When he is born, do not name your son Randy. The rim of the shield but not the shield, the failure Wolf...

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Settle Here

Diana Turken

Settle Here

Diana Turken
She looked right at me and over her shoulder I could see mountains at the feet of the plains and a desert waiting...

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Plans Change

Lucy Engelman

Plans Change

Lucy Engelman
There are casinos in Cambodia I’ve lied to enter worn shoes of mohair, sidled up to speakers beaten open to...

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Ninety and Ninety

R. S. Carlson

Ninety and Ninety

R. S. Carlson
Another night we do not open the windows to ninety and ninety. The early newscasts called for major appliance usage delayed till eight or later...

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Interferon Psalms: Psalm 4

Luke Davies

Interferon Psalms: Psalm 4

Luke Davies
The old geologies will disappear as the mountains erode, one pebble, one day, one freeze-thaw cycle at a time. Doesn’t...

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Four Legs

Mike Coulter

Four Legs

Mike Coulter
four legs in the hot sun heat and sweat ashes and talk talking all the time out of bounds cold and rotten I chased a parasite out into the...

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Friends of Slake

Joe and Laurie would like to thank the artists and writers who put passion ahead of their usual pay rates to contribute to Slake. We would also like to acknowledge the following for their support: Rob Hill; Jonathan Gold; Michael Sigman; Arty Nelson; John Albert; Steven Kotler; Robert Sobul; Madhu Sharma; Marena Barron; Ruth Reichl; Margy Rochlin; Nancy Silverton; John Powers; Jervey Tervalon; Robin Green; Dorothy, Sean, and Shannon Donnelly; Sara Salter; Isabel and Leon Gold; Mark Gold and Lisette Bauersachs; Evelyn Ochoa; Tom Gilmore; Michelle Huneven; Polly Geller; Arlie Carstens; Tamarra Younis; Conor Kawesch; Tom Christie; Mark Z. Danielewski; Pandora Young; Erica Zora Wrightson; Veronique de Turenne; Simone Kredo; Trish Carpico; Cynthia Lapporte; Joanna Yas; Laura Kim; Christine Spines; David Kipen; Anne Fishbein; Tom Lutz and Laurie Winer; Candy Olsen; Tracy Bacon; Leslie Roberts; Alison Morgan; and, of course, Willa. Thanks, also, to Vince Donnelly, who insisted, “This ain’t no dress rehearsal.”

Support Slake: Los Angeles. To become a Slake Sponsor or Friend of Slake, email us at or call (323) 284-8243 for information.

Brenna Youngblood

Brenna Youngblood earned a BFA at Cal State Long Beach and MFA from UCLA. She’s had solo exhibitions at Honor Fraser Gallery, Jack Tilton Gallery, and the Hammer. Studio Museum in Harlem, Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, the 2008 California Biennial, and the California African American Museum have selected her work for group shows.

Diana Turken

Diana Turken was born and raised in Los Angeles and is pursuing her MFA in poetry at Mills College. She writes about outlaws, settlers, and the West. Recently, her poetry has appeared in La Petite Zine and Bangout.

Settle Here (Slake 4)

Michael J. Totten

Michael J. Totten is an independent foreign correspondent and foreign policy analyst who has reported from the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus. He is the author of The Road to Fatima Gate: The Beirut Spring, the Rise of Hezbollah, and the Iranian War Against Israel (Encounter Books).

The Lost City (Slake 4)

Allen Tombello

Allen Tombello is an artist, designer, and curator living and working in Los Angeles who has exhibited in L.A. and New York. He received his BFA from RISD and an MFA and M.Arch.I from UCLA. He is working on two curatorial projects, “Doppelgangster” and “The Punctum Punked,” a survey on photography’s afterlife.

Clay Steakley

Clay Steakley is a writer, actor, and musician. He’s originally from Nashville, and he lived in Del Mar, California, and Washington, D.C., before Los Angeles. Besides writing stories, he has played bass in rock bands, acted in movies and plays, and hung out with Willie Nelson on his bus.

Bride and Groom (Slake 4)

Yumi Sakugawa

Yumi Sakugawa is a comic book artist and illustrator based in Los Angeles. She received her BFA from UCLA. Her comic zines about meditation, doppelgängers, blob monsters, and the end of the world are distributed by Sparkplug Comic Books. She is working on a collection of short-story comics.

Andrew Ramirez

Andrew Ramirez is a writer and editor for Scribe magazine, a USC-based publication. He was raised in El Paso, Texas, and lives in Los Angeles.

Fishing (Slake 4)

Melanie Paykos

Melanie Paykos, VP of AIGA LA, has developed brands and marketing campaigns for some of the largest franchises in entertainment, fashion, and consumer products. She has taught at Otis College of Art and Design and has focused her continuing education in the fine arts at acclaimed painting residency Painting’s Edge in Idyllwild, California.

Brendan Monroe

Brendan Monroe lives and works in Oakland. “My interpretations of the world are rooted in science then executed through painting and sculpting. These are the best ways for me to communicate, but I also enjoy making other things as well.”

Matt Merkel-Hess

Matt Merkel-Hess is a Los Angeles–based potter who received an MFA from UCLA in 2010. Merkel-Hess has exhibited in Los Angeles at ACME., Meier Ferrer, Cerritos College, Las Cienegas Projects, and Steve Turner Contemporary and will soon be included in a three-person ceramics show at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kansas, and in the Venice Boardwalk Biennial in Venice, California.

Sam Lubell

Sam Lubell is the West Coast editor of the Architect’s Newspaper. He has written four books about architecture: Paris 2000+ (Monacelli Press), London 2000+ (Monacelli Press), Living West (Monacelli Press), and Julius Shulman Los Angeles: The Birth of a Modern Metropolis (Rizzoli). He has written for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, New York Magazine, and more.

Matthew Licht

Matthew Licht lived happily in Hollywood for nearly four years before relocating to Italy. His most recent fiction, Requiem Date, is an investigation of palm tree death in L.A. and Hollywood on the Tiber. His story collection The Moose Show (Salt Publishing) was nominated for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. A new collection, Justine, Joe & the Zen Garbageman (Salt Publishing), is due out soon.

Niglu (Slake 4)

Jack Lander

Jack Lander lives in the Villa Riviera, a French Gothic castle with gargoyles in Long Beach, California. His articles and short stories have appeared in the District, Long Beach Magazine, Tulsa Magazine, Long Beach Business Journal, Byline, and Black Petals.

A Thai Love Scene (Slake 4)

Soraya King

Soraya King graduated from UC Irvine’s literary journalism program in 2011. She lives in Sacramento.

Hell’s Angelopes (Slake 4)

Clea Jones

Clea Jones is a second-generation L.A. artist. She received her MFA from CalArts and was an assistant professor of art and department chair at Marymount College. She teaches art to at-risk youth and conducts private therapeutic art workshops with “grown-ups.” Her photography exhibits nationally.

Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff is the author of a novel, The Monsters of Templeton, and a story collection, Delicate Edible Birds. Her latest novel is Arcadia. She lives in Gainesville, Florida, with her husband and sons.

Even Years and Continents Later (Slake 4)

Greg Goldin

Greg Goldin writes about architecture for Los Angeles Magazine and is a curator at A+D Architecture and Design Museum > Los Angeles.

Never Built (Slake 4)

Lynell George

Lynell George is an L.A.-based journalist who covers arts, culture, and social issues. A longtime staff writer for both the Los Angeles Times and L.A. Weekly, she is currently an assistant professor at Loyola Marymount University, where she teaches journalism. She is the author of No Crystal Stair: African Americans in the City of Angels.

Arteries of Memory (Slake 4)

Paul Gachot

Paul Gachot is a writer and armchair anthrozoologist who lives in Venice. He writes two blogs: Gazpachot and The Hypnogogic Zoo.

Monster’s Fall (Slake 4)

Larry Fondation

Larry Fondation is the author of two novels and two collections of short stories, all set in Los Angeles. His two most-recent books are collaborations with London-based artist Kate Ruth. Fondation has won a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship in Fiction Writing. Martyrs and Holymen is due to be published in 2012. Go to:

Doom Town (Slake 3)

Orman Day

Orman Day was born and raised in Glendale, where his family lived in rented houses that were felled to build a shopping center, an apartment building, and a freeway ramp. He has been asked to emcee the fiftieth reunion of the Glendale High Class of ’63, and is busy writing jokes at the expense of classmates who embarrassed him because he was scrawny and dateless.

Ring Shout in the Rain (Slake 4)

Antonia Crane

Antonia Crane’s essays have appeared in Black Clock, WordRiot, PANK, The Whistling Fire, The Coachella Review, The Rumpus, and Diverse Voices Quarterly. She just finished her memoir about the sex industry and her mother’s death, SPENT. She lives in Los Angeles.

55 Steps (Slake 4)

Mike Coulter

Mike Coulter is a Baltimore-born writer, singer and cook. In addition to writing the occasional poem, he dreams of the complete liberation of animals.

Four Legs (Slake 4)

Ginny Cook

Ginny Cook received her MFA in photography from CalArts in 2005. Recent exhibitions include Telephone at the Torrance Art Museum and Complicity: Contemporary Photography and the Matter of Sculpture at Rena Bransten Gallery (San Francisco). Cook is the cofounder and coeditor of MATERIAL, a journal of artists’ writings.

Melissa Chadburn

Melissa Chadburn is a native Angeleno whose work has appeared in Guernica, PANK Magazine, WordRiot, The Rumpus, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and she is a regular contributor at The Nervous Breakdown. She loves pit bulls and cheese. And your outfit.

Elephant’s Skull (Slake 4)

R. S. Carlson

R. S. Carlson, a professor of English at Azusa Pacific University, served with the U.S. Army in Quang Tri Province, Viet Nam, 1970–71. In recent years, he has traveled to China and Southeast Asia with various aid agencies, and has led English workshops for Chinese teachers of English in Guangdong and Xinjiang provinces.

Ninety and Ninety (Slake 4)

Vanessa Carlisle

Vanessa Carlisle is a Middleton Fellow in USC’s Ph.D. in English literature and creative writing program and author of the novel A Crack in Everything. Her work has appeared in NinthLetter, Juked, WordRiot, and the Boink (Warner) and Men Undressed (OV Books) anthologies. Her blog is

Occupant (Slake 4)

Christopher Byars

Christopher Byars studied creative writing and film at the University of Southern California. He’s an avid country music fan.

Bad Road (Slake 4)

Aimee Bender

Aimee Bender is the author of four books, the most recent being The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. Her short fiction has been published in Granta, Harper’s, The Paris Review, Tin House, and more, and has been heard on This American Life. She lives in between West Hollywood and Hollywood.

An Incident with a Stick (Slake 4)

Erin Aubry Kaplan

Erin Aubry Kaplan is a longtime Los Angeles–based journalist and essayist and the author of Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line: Dispatches from a Black Journalista.

The Boulevard (Slake 4)

Owen Wiseman

Owen Wiseman was raised in the Pacific Northwest. He studied philosophy at Pomona College, where he read an unhealthy amount of Nietzsche and Heidegger. He now lives and works in Hollywood. His first graphic novel, Samurai’s Blood, will be published in June 2011. Follow him on Twitter at @samuraisblood.

Bus Stops: A Memoir (Slake 3)

John Waldman

John Waldman lives in Los Angeles and teaches in Santa Monica. His poems have appeared in such publications as Cream City Review, Brooklyn Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Times Ten: An Anthology of Northern California Poets. His Poetry Envelope Project has been used in the New York City public schools and at Rikers Island.

A Man’s Rebaptism in a Town Called Jesus Cares (Slake 3)

Natasha Vargas-Cooper

Natasha Vargas-Cooper grew up in Los Angeles and got a BA in history and public policy from UCLA. She worked as a union organizer for health care workers for six years in California and Washington, D.C. Vargas-Cooper is the author of Mad Men Unbuttoned (Harper Collins). She’s been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, and New Statesman.

The Great Wisconsin Solidarity Experiment (Slake 3)
Way to Go, Ohio ()
This Time, It’s Personal ()

Ted Soqui

Ted Soqui is a Los Angeles–based photojournalist. His interests include politics and disasters, natural and man-made. He began his twenty-eight-year career using thirty-five-millimeter film cameras, often with self-loaded thirty-five-millimeter black-and-white film. Now shooting exclusively with digital cameras, Ted uses his film cameras as paperweights and doorstops.

Doom Town (Slake 3)

Paul Sbrizzi

Paul Sbrizzi runs the Sexylake Writers Group; writes screenplays, fiction, and movie reviews; makes short films; and programs for Slamdance and the L.A. Film Festival. He was born at the Queen of Angels Hospital off the 101—now the Dream Center—and grew up in Italy.

Gotterdammeringue (Slake 3)

Brendan Schallert

Brendan Schallert, a third-generation Angeleno, is the principal at ArtLAB, a new pilot arts high school in Glassell Park. He is working on a novel. He lives with his wife, Allison, and their daughters, Maeve and Siobhan.

More Than a Feeling (Slake 3)

Aaron Rose

Aaron Rose is an artist, film director, exhibition curator, and writer. From 1992 to 2002, he was owner/director of the Alleged Gallery in New York. Rose has directed numerous films and television commercials, including Become a Microscope (2009), a short film based on the life of 1960s artist/activist nun Sister Corita, and Portraits of Braddock (2010), a one-hour film for the Independent Film Channel. Rose also codirected the feature documentary film Beautiful Losers (Arthouse Films/Oscilloscope).

Graham Metson

Graham Metson was born in London and has lived in North America since 1968. His paintings, drawings, installations, and performance pieces have been exhibited in galleries and museums in Europe and North America, including the Institute of Contemporary Art in London and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. He has taught art at various Canadian universities since the 1970s, and lives in Ontario.

This Boy’s War (Slake 3)

Melodie McDaniel

Melodie McDaniel’s photography has appeared on album covers for Smashing Pumpkins, Pharrell Williams, My Morning Jacket, and others. She won a Grammy for images she contributed to a Suzanne Vega special package. She has directed videos for Madonna, Porno for Pyros, and Patti Smith. In 1999, she directed her first documentary, Little Jimmy Scott: Why Was I Born? Recently, Melodie teamed up with Weiden+Kennedy for Levi’s “Go Forth” campaign, for which she produced a commercial and a series of photographs shot with local talent on location in Braddock, Pennsylvania.

Anne McCaddon

Anne McCaddon received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2003) and her MFA in painting from UCLA (2009). In 2011 McCaddon had a solo show, Over-Under Worked, with ACP and Parker Jones Gallery. She has been included in group exhibitions such as Plain Brown Wrapper (Human Resources, 2012) and Wet Paint: 10 Young L.A. Painters (Steve Turner Contemporary, 2009).

Riley Kern

Riley Kern is a professional commercial and portrait photographer in Orange County and Los Angeles. Visit her website at

Ernest Hardy

Ernest Hardy is a Sundance Fellow and author of the books Blood Beats Vols. 1 and 2. His cultural criticism has appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, the L.A. Weekly, Millennium Film Journal, Rolling Stone, and the L.A. Times. He’s working on Blood Beats Vol. 3 and a collection of poetry and short stories.

More (Slake 3)

Lucy Engelman

Lucy Engelman is an artist and writer living in Silver Lake. She grew up in Washington, D.C., and recently moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Oberlin College in Ohio.

Plans Change (Slake 4)
Somewhere South of North Alvarado (Slake 3)

Michael Dopp

Michael Dopp was born in 1978 in Bloomington, Indiana. He recieved his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his MFA from UCLA in 2009. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Patrick deWitt

Patrick deWitt is the author of the novels Ablutions and The Sisters Brothers. He wrote the screenplay for Terri, a film directed by Azazel Jacobs. Born in Canada in 1975, he lives in Portland, Oregon.

The Sisters Brothers (Slake 3)

Marc Cooper

Marc Cooper has reported on politics and culture from around the world and across the country for four decades. His articles and essays have appeared in publications ranging from The Atlantic and Harper’s to Rolling Stone and the L.A. Weekly, and he is the author of three nonfiction books. Marc is an associate professor of professional practice at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.

On the Benghazi Express (Slake 3)

Deedee Cheriel

Deedee Cheriel lives and works in Echo Park. In previous incarnations, the painter played in girl rock bands and was a filmmaker. These days she finds inspiration hiking with her dogs in the hills in Elysian Park, old punk albums, East Indian temple imagery, and the natural habitats of her childhood in Oregon.

Tourmaline Revenge Sequence (Slake 3)

Gregory Bojorquez

Gregory Bojorquez photographs the everyday life-and-death grind in the neighborhoods of L.A.’s East Side. Work from his “Eastsiders” project has been published in several L.A.-based magazines as well as in Al Gore’s Spirit of Family and has been used on the covers of Luis Rodriguez’s The Republic of East L.A. and Hearts and Hands. Gregory covers subject matter touching on music, subcultures, and women.

Eastsiders Project: Little Valley (Slake 3)

Sandow Birk

Sandow Birk is a Los Angeles artist whose work addresses contemporary life in its entirety. His themes have included inner-city violence, graffiti, social issues, travel, prisons, surfing, skateboarding, Dante, religion, and war. He is the recipient of many awards and has exhibited extensively.

Libertad (Slake 3)
Average Americans (Slake 1)

Hillel Aron

Hillel Aron is a journalist living in Echo Park. His work has appeared in the L.A. Weekly, Huffington Post, and Neon Tommy. He was born and bred in Los Angeles.

The Last Freeway (Slake 3)

Mary Woronov

Mary Woronov is a painter who has supported herself by acting—Chelsea Girls, Eating Raoul, Miss Togar in Rock and Roll High School, and about seventy other films you’ve never heard of. At fifty she changed her lifestyle and wrote her first novel, Swimming Underground. For Serpent’s Tail in London she wrote Snake, Niagara, and Blind Love. Victoria Dailey published Eye Witness to Warhol.

Jane Says (Slake 2)

Lawrence Wilson

Lawrence Wilson is public editor of the Pasadena Star-News and the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group. “A Surfing Itinerary No. 12: San Simeon” is from A Surfing Itinerary, a series of poems on beaches and breaks here and in Hawaii.

Laurie Wheeler

Laurie Wheeler writes poems, music, and stories in Silver Lake.

Creation Myth (Slake 3)
In the Air (Slake 2)

Margaret Wertheim

Margaret Wertheim has written for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, New Scientist, The Guardian, and many other publications. She is author of three books on the cultural history of physics, including The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace: A History of Space from Dante to the Internet and Physics on the Fringe (forthcoming from Walker & Co.). Her work has been included in Best American Science Writing 2003 and many other anthologies.

Christine Wertheim

Christine Wertheim is chair of the Experimental Writing program in the Department of Critical Studies at California Institute of the Arts, where she teaches writing and feminism. She and her twin sister, Margaret, learned handicrafts from their mother, Barbara, when they were growing up in Queensland, Australia.

Lauren Weedman

Lauren Weedman is a comedic actress, playwright, and author. She has written and starred in the one-woman shows No … You Shut Up, Bust, and Rash. Her TV credits include The Daily Show, True Blood, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Hung. Weedman developed her first book, A Woman Trapped in a Woman’s Body: Tales from a Life of Cringe, into a pilot for Fox.

Fatal Attraction (Slake 4)
Groupie (Slake 2)

Justin Warfield

Justin Warfield is a music producer, frontman of She Wants Revenge, unemployed screen and television writer, sometime director, lazy blogger, husband, father, mediocre skateboarder, worse surfer, black Jew.

Andy and Kelly (Slake 2)

Sage Vaughn

Sage Vaughn is a painter who was born in 1976 in Jackson, Oregon. He lives and works in Los Angeles. He died in 2063 in Mumbai, India.

C. R. Stecyk III

C. R. Stecyk III is an artist based in Ocean Park, California. His work has been exhibited internationally and is included in a number of public collections. A surfboard he built and painted is in the permanent archive of the Smithsonian Institution. He has been profiled in several films, including Dogtown and Z Boys.

Fortress L.A. (Slake 1)

Johannes C. Spalt

Johannes C. Spalt works as a production designer and photographer. He grew up in Vienna and lives in Los Feliz.

Sam Slovick

Sam Slovick is an L.A.-based journalist, documentary filmmaker, and actor whose work has appeared in the L.A. Weekly, Nylon, Details, The Face, and numerous other publications. Slovick’s documentary credits include On Skid Row and Scenes from the New Revolution.

Big Tent Theory (Slake 4)
Tommy Crow (Slake 2)

Harry Shannon

Harry Shannon’s has been a counselor, actor, Emmy-nominated songwriter, recording artist, music publisher, vice president–music at Carolco Pictures, and film music supervisor. His books include Dead and Gone (a Lionsgate movie), the Mick Callahan suspense novels, the collection A Host of Shadows, and the novella PAIN. Shannon has won the Tombstone Award and the Black Quill, and has been nominated for the Stoker Award in short fiction by the Horror Writer Association.

Fifty Minutes (Slake 2)

Amy Scattergood

Amy Scattergood has published a book of poetry, now of course out of print, and she cowrote Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours, which won a James Beard Award this spring. She writes about food for the L.A. Weekly, which really helps her procrastinate on the cookbook she’s supposed to be writing. Poetry? Not nearly often enough.

On Visiting My Mother in the Hospital and Not Finding Her There (Slake 3)
Fugue in D Minor with Dissociative State (Slake 2)

Elisa Linda Saether

Elisa Linda Saether started as an apprentice to master painter Jan Valentine Saether, her father. Since then, she has worked to develop a slacker approach to classical techniques. She lived in Norway in the 1990s and created the Pop-Up gallery and the Circus No Purpose. She is happy to be back in the sunshine of her native Los Angeles.

Devri Richmond

Devri Richmond is an analog photographer, an actress, and a bookseller. She grew up in Southern California and lives in Los Angeles.

Rachel Resnick

Rachel Resnick is the author of the memoir Love Junkie and the novel Go West, Young F*cked-Up Chick. Her articles, essays, and celebrity profiles have appeared in numerous publications, and she is a contributing editor at Tin House and the founder of Writers on Fire.

Natural-Born Butcher (Slake 2)

Michelle Pullman

Michelle Pullman grew up on San Juan Island off the coast of Washington state, surrounded by water and cut off from the world. Finding an abandoned camera on a park bench, she hid it in the bushes until nightfall. Upon returning, she began her love affair with photography.

Elyse Pignolet

Elyse Pignolet primarily works in ceramics, dealing with social issues, urban themes, and contemporary news. Pignolet lives in Los Angeles, and her works have been featured in several publications including the L.A. Weekly, Juxtapoz, and the Los Angeles Times.

Paradise Regained ()

Victoria Patterson

Victoria Patterson is the author of the novel This Vacant Paradise, slated for March 2011 with Counterpoint Press. Her story collection Drift was a finalist for the California Book Award and the 2009 Story Prize.

Half Truth (Slake 2)

Geoff Nicholson

Geoff Nicholson is the author of numerous books, most recently The Lost Art of Walking and Gravity’s Volkswagen. He lives on the lower slopes of the Hollywood Hills.

A Rose Grows on De Longpre (Slake 2)
The Hollywood Pedestrian (Slake 1)

Yxta Maya Murray

Yxta Maya Murray was born in Long Beach in 1968. She teaches law at Loyola Law School and embroiders strange self-portraits from her home base in Studio City. She’s published five novels: Locas, What It Takes to Get to Vegas, The Conquest, The Queen Jade, and The King’s Gold. Two young adult novels, Stolen Girls and Girl on Fire, are forthcoming next year.

Scream Like a Girl (Slake 2)

Joseph Mattson

Joseph Mattson is the author of Empty the Sun (A Barnacle Book), a novel with soundtrack by Six Organs of Admittance, and editor of and contributor to The Speed Chronicles (Akashic Books), featuring William T. Vollmann, Sherman Alexie, Jerry Stahl, and more. Mattson was awarded a 2011–12 C.O.L.A. Fellowship for his novel-in-progress, Hexico.

West of Olive (Slake 4)
Hamm’s Toe (Slake 3)
The Warlords of Little Tokyo (Slake 2)


Matjames spent the better part of two decades living in New Orleans. Now residing in L.A., his work has been featured at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, La Luz de Jesus, Barrister’s Gallery in New Orleans, and the American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore. He is finishing his graphic novel, Survivors Guild Book 2, a story of the displacement and loneliness he experienced as a Katrina refugee.

Survivors Guild (Slake 2)

Dana Johnson

Dana Johnson, the author of Break Any Woman Down, is a professor of English and creative writing at the University of Southern California. “Supercali” is excerpted from her novel, Elsewhere, California, forthcoming from Counterpoint.

Supercali (Slake 2)

Daniel Hernandez

Daniel Hernandez is a journalist based in Mexico City. His book, Down and Delirious in Mexico City (Scribner), comes out in February 2011.

Mexican Gringo (Slake 2)
Tripping Out in Neza York (Slake 1)

James Greer

James Greer is the author of the novels Artificial Light (LHotB/Akashic, 2006) and The Failure (Akashic, 2010), and the nonfiction book Guided By Voices: A Brief History, a biography of a band for which he once played bass. He is a contributing editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

In Bloom (Slake 3)
A Yellow Coincidence (Slake 2)

Jackie Gorman

Jackie Gorman is the author of The Seeing Glass, a memoir. “Ghost Dance” is part of a linked story collection based upon her experiences as a chaplain intern at UCLA Medical Center. Most importantly, she finally managed to keep a death-bed promise and donated her kidney to a stranger this November.

Ghost Dance (Slake 2)

Dana Goodyear

Dana Goodyear is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of Honey and Junk, a collection of poems. She teaches literary nonfiction, with an emphasis on new media, at the University of Southern California.

Freeway (Slake 2)

Craig Gaines

Craig Gaines is a freelance editor who lives in Angeleno Heights.

Matthew Fleischer

Matthew Fleischer is a former staff writer at the L.A. Weekly and senior editor of L.A. CityBeat who writes for the Los Angeles Times Magazine and runs the quality-of-life blog Daily Vitamin.

Mushrooms to Mecca (Slake 2)
Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Boyle Heights (Slake 1)

Anne Fishbein

Anne Fishbein is a Los Angeles photographer whose work is collected in many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Canada. Her monograph, On the Way Home, was published by Perceval Press.

Long Shots (Slake 2)
The Secret Lives of Stiffs (Slake 1)

Erin Ferro

Erin Ferro is a painter, graphic designer, jewelry designer, and L.A. native. She studied at UCLA and the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Her graphic-design site is and her jewelry site is

Kelly Fajack

Kelly Fajack was raised in Manhattan Beach, California. He has traveled to more than forty countries on six continents to shoot for such clients as AOL, Fiat, and Fujitsu Siemens. Fajack’s work has been published in Le Figaro, Time and Grazia.

Ben Ehrenreich

Ben Ehrenreich is an award-winning journalist and the author of the novels The Suitors and Ether, which was published by City Lights Books last fall. You can find more of his work at

Ether, an excerpt ()
In Praise of War (Slake 3)
In the Heart of the Homeland (Slake 2)

Shannon Donnelly

Shannon Donnelly’s passion for photography started during a fondue mishap, cheese of course being her first love. Discovering that she could not make a career of eating cheese, Donnelly picked up a camera and is now, surprisingly, an award-winning photographer based in Los Angeles.

Light Years (Slake 1)

Hank Cherry

Hank Cherry is a writer and documentary filmmaker who lives in Hollywood. He wrote about slain animator Helen Hill and the aftermath of Katrina for the last issue of Slake: Los Angeles.

68 Whiskey (Slake 3)
Sun Sets in Pedro (Poem)
Bayouland (Slake 2)
The Resurrection of Henry Grimes (Slake 1)

Dan Peterka

Alex Bacon and Dan Peterka are the cofounders of G.A.M.A. (Guerilla Arts Movement of America) in Los Angeles, which can be found online at

Alex Bacon

Alex Bacon is cofounder of the seminal artist collective G.A.M.A (Guerilla Arts Movement of America).

John Albert

John Albert’s essays have appeared in several anthologies, and the film rights to his book Wrecking Crew, about the true-life adventures of his amateur baseball team composed of drug addicts, transvestites, and washed-up rock stars, has been optioned most recently by the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Running with the Devil: A Lifetime of Van Halen (Slake 2)
The Hep-C Generation (Slake 1)

Harry B. Chandler

Harry B. Chandler’s photographs have been shown in one-man shows at the California Museum in Sacramento and at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles. His first book, Dreamers in Dream City, was published in June 2009. Chandler spent thirty years as a media executive and producer and now chairs the board of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation and LACMA’s Tech Advisors.

Arlie John Carstens

Arlie John Carstens is a musician, writer, and photographer living in Los Angeles. His blog, By the Dream Power of the Truth Beast, is at

Cindy Carcamo

Cindy Carcamo is an award-winning staff writer at The Orange County Register, where she covers immigration issues. Her work on immigration has appeared in publications around the globe. Born in Los Angeles, she grew up in the San Fernando Valley and regularly traveled to Central America during her youth.

Return to Sender (Slake 2)

Greg Burk

Greg Burk is a Los Angeles writer who plays guitar in his living room. His website,, concerns metal and jazz.

Absolution (Slake 2)

Len E. Burge III

Len E. Burge III grew up in Spokane, Washington. Developing a taste for special-effects-based movies, he became a film sculptor. Developing a distaste for all things Hollywood, he now resides in Ventura County, where he sculpts three-dimensional particle physics models and searches for new ways to battle Pediculus humanus capitis.

Elizabeth Banicki

Elizabeth Banicki spent her teens and early twenties riding at tracks around the country. During her college years, she discovered a love for literature and writing and eventually left the itinerant life of the track for the itinerant life of a freelance writer.

Wrong Side of the Track (Slake 2)

Ingrid Allen

Ingrid Allen was raised at the Bruchion School, where she studied old-master techniques taught by her mother, Liv Saether, and Saether’s husband, Jan. She continued her studies at the Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy. Her work has been shown around the world. In 2008, Ingrid helped create an after-school art program for teenagers called Make Something!!

Laurie Ochoa

During Laurie Ochoa’s eight years as editor in chief of the L.A. Weekly, the paper won more national journalism awards than any other alternative newspaper in the country. She was the executive editor of Gourmet from 1999 to 2001 and spent ten years as a reporter and editor at the Los Angeles Times, including five years as editor of the food section. She wrote Nancy Silverton’s Breads from the La Brea Bakery, which was nominated for James Beard and Julia Child cookbook awards.

Notes on a Dirty Old Man (Slake 2)

Joe Donnelly

Joe Donnelly is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies. Donnelly was the deputy editor of the L.A. Weekly from 2002 to 2008. Before that, he was the arts editor of New Times Los Angeles and editor in chief of the seminal Los Angeles pop-culture magazine Bikini. Donnelly earned a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley. He started dreaming up Slake several years ago when he asked himself a simple question: why doesn’t a city as cool and vital as Los Angeles have a publication as cool and vital as the city?

Sunday Morning in Echo Park (Slake 2)
The Pirate of Penance (Slake 1)
Glue (Slake 1)

Fifty Minutes (Slake 2)

Ray DiPalma

Ray DiPalma’s recent books include Pensieri (Echo Park Press, 2009), The Ancient Use of Stone (Seismicity Editions, 2009) and Further Apocrypha (Pie in the Sky Press, 2009). Various of his writings have been translated in Italian, Spanish, Chinese, French, Danish, and Portuguese. He teaches in the Humanities Department at the School of Visual Arts in New York and has recently been a visiting writer at Otis College of Art and Design.

Luke Davies

Luke Davies is the author of three novels, including the cult favorite Candy; five volumes of poetry, including the award-winning Totem and, most recently, Interferon Psalms; and a children’s book, Magpie. His adaptation of Candy (starring Heath Ledger, Geoffrey Rush, and Abbie Cornish) won Australian Film Institute and Australian Writers’ Guild awards for best adapted screenplay.

Interferon Psalms: Psalm 4 (Slake 4)
The Cisco Kid (Slake 1)
The Extravagance of Loss (Slake 1)

Mark Z. Danielewski

Mark Z. Danielewski was born in New York City and now lives in Los Angeles. He is the best-selling author of the novels House of Leaves and Only Revolutions, a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award for Fiction.

The Promise of Meaning (Slake 1)

Jamie Brisick

Jamie Brisick has written two books: We Approach Our Martinis with Such High Expectations (Consafos Press, 2002) and Have Board, Will Travel: The Definitive History of Surf, Skate, and Snow (HarperCollins, 2004). His stories have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Details, and The Surfer’s Journal. In 2008 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. He lives in New York City with his wife and 6’1” Channel Islands Warp.

Finnegan’s Wake (Slake 4)
Blood and Water (Slake 1)

Iris Berry

Iris Berry is a writer, actress, and musician, a native Angeleno, and one of the progenitors of the L.A. punk scene. Her short stories and poetry have been widely anthologized. In the 1980s and 1990s she sang and wrote songs for the Lame Flames, the Dickies, and the Flesheaters, and she cofounded the Ringling Sisters.

Free Radical (Slake 4)
Tales from the Tropicana Motel (Slake 1)

Erica Zora Wrightson

Erica Zora Wrightson is a Pasadena native who writes about proximities, distances, and the ingredients of place. She is a writer/editor for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and lives in Angeleno Heights.

Artichoke (Slake 1)

General Relativity (Slake 3)

Dave White

Dave White is the author of Exile in Guyville, appears in the anthology Love Is a Four-Letter Word, contributes to KCRW’s storytelling show UnFictional, writes film reviews for and cohosts the podcast Linoleum Knife.

Somebody’s Mother (Slake 4)
My Arm the Porn Star (Slake 1)

John Tottenham

John Tottenham finally surrendered and sold out to the lucrative, fast-paced world of poetry. He is the author of one book, The Inertia Variations, an epic cycle on the subject of work avoidance, failure, and indolence. He also dabbles in oils. A one-man show of his paintings was held at Las Cienegas Projects in late 2010.

Stilled Life (Slake 1)

Antiepithalamium I (Slake 3)

Jervey Tervalon

Jervey Tervalon is the executive director of Literature for Life, an educational advocacy organization, and creative director of the Pasadena LitFest. Tervalon’s latest novel, Serving Monster, is available as a Kindle e-book from “Googie Among the Mormons” is an excerpt from his novel in progress, Hope Found Chauncey.

Googie Among the Mormons (Slake 3)
Golden: The Education of a Young Pootbutt (Slake 1)

Deborah Stoll

Deborah Stoll is a native New Yorker who enjoys living in Los Angeles. She contributes arts pieces to The Economist’s online literary magazine, More Intelligent Life, and writes cocktail-inspired stories for the L.A. Weekly. Her TV show The Foundry was a semifinalist at Slamdance. You can find more information and tawdry tales at

Shift Change (Slake 1)

Jerry Stahl

Jerry Stahl: six books, including Permanent Midnight and I, Fatty. Wrote Hemingway & Gellhorn, showing on HBO in 2012. Working on a new novel, Jumping from the H, and a screenplay of The Thin Man. “American Girl” is excerpted from an upcoming collection, Bad Sex on Speed.

American Girl (Slake 3)
Sammy Talks Frank (Slake 1)

Robert Sobul

Robert Sobul is a filmmaker who lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.

Watts Fire 64 (Slake 1)

David Schneider

David Schneider was born and raised in San Francisco. He has worked in commercials, film, television, and theater since moving to Los Angeles in 2002. He would like to thank Mom, Dad, Jeffrey, Matthew, Michael, Jenny, C. J., Dana, Michael, Adam, Emily, Nana, Oliver, and Christine.

Ballad of the Trunk Monkey Bandit (Slake 1)

John Powers

John Powers is a contributing editor at Vogue, where he writes about film and politics, and is critic at large for NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He was film critic at the L.A. Weekly from 1985 to 1993, and returned to the paper in 2001 to write a weekly media/politics column, “On,” until 2005. He is the author of Sore Winners (and the Rest of Us) in George Bush’s America. He and his wife, Sandi Tan, live in Pasadena. His work can be found online in the People Are Talking About section of and on the Fresh Air Web site.

Out Stealing Purses (Slake 1)

Arty Nelson

Arty Nelson has written for the L.A. Weekly, Bikini, Raygun, Arena, Interview, Black Book, Frank, Vogue, and numerous art catalogs. He is the author of the novel Technicolor Pulp and is a writer on HBO’s How to Make It in America.

Abstract L.A. (Slake 1)

Judith Lewis Mernit

Judith Lewis Mernit writes about natural resources, Western politics, and the great outdoors from Venice, California. Her work has appeared in the L.A. Weekly, Mother Jones, Sierra, Utne, the Los Angeles Times, and High Country News, where she is a contributing editor.

To Catch a Raindrop (Slake 1)

Richard Lange

Richard Lange is the author of the short story collection Dead Boys and the novel This Wicked World. He received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, was a finalist for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, and is a Guggenheim Fellow in fiction.

Baby Killer (Slake 1)

Steven Kotler

Steven Kotler is a New Mexico-based writer. He is the author of the forthcoming A Small, Furry Prayer: Dog Rescue and the Meaning of Life (Bloomsbury, October 2010); 2006 PEN finalist;West of Jesus: Surfing, Science and the Origins of Belief; and the 1999 novel The Angle Quickest for Flight, a San Francisco Chronicle best seller and winner of the 2000 William L. Crawford IAFA Fantasy Award. His articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Details, Wired, Popular Science, Discover, Playboy, Outside, and ESPN The Magazine. He also writes The Playing Field, a blog about the science of sport and culture, for, and is the co-founder of the Rancho de Chihuahua dog sanctuary in Chimayo, New Mexico.

The Seeker (Slake 1)

Fred Rochlin

The Tropicana motel was one of the first commissions that Fred Rochlin and his partner Ephraim Baran received at their architectural firm Rochlin & Baran. Rochlin’s first two architecture jobs—working for Frank Lloyd Wright’s son, Lloyd Wright, and for Charles and Rae Eames—were as creatively inspiring as he hoped. And the Rochlin & Baran firm was responsible for many important buildings in California. But as the late architect told his daughter Margy Rochlin, the developer of the Tropicana insisted on design elements that he and Baran considered ugly—a kidney-bean-shaped pool, a retaining wall of irregularly cut Palo Verde stone that was supposed to give the motel a South Seas look—and it was a job he wanted to forget. Still, right before the Tropicana was torn down in 1988, Rochlin parked himself across the street from the motel, painted a watercolor of the landmark and gave it to his daughter. In his seventies, Rochlin became an acclaimed performance artist and author.

Theresa Kereakes

Theresa Kereakes grew up in Southern California and studied at UCLA. Theresa photographs raw and candid images of artists who are now household names: Debbie Harry, Chrissie Hynde, Joan Jett, The Sex Pistols and more. She has worked internationally and now divides her time between Nashville, New York, and Los Angeles.

Photos from: Tales from the Tropicana Motel

Michelle Huneven

Michelle Huneven’s most recent novel, Blame, was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award and named a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her first and second novels, Round Rock and Jamesland, were New York Times notable books and finalists for Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. She has received the Southern California Booksellers Award for Fiction, a G. E. Younger Writers Award, and a Whiting Award. She teaches creative writing at UCLA and lives with her husband in the town where she was born, Altadena, California.

Separation (Slake 1)

Jacob Heilbrunn

Jacob Heilbrunn is a senior editor at The National Interest and author of They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons.

Fine and Dandy (Slake 1)

Jonathan Gold

Jonathan Gold, restaurant critic for the L.A. Weekly and author of Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles, is the first food writer to win the Pulitzer Prize for criticism. In addition to his writing for Gourmet, Saveur, and other national food and travel magazines, Gold has a shady past as a composer and performance artist, spent time as the rap and heavy-metal correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, was the L.A. Weekly’s music editor, and wrote about music and popular culture for Spin, Rolling Stone, and Details.

Fallen Fruit (Slake 1)

Polly Geller

Polly Geller grew up in Rome and left for the Brave New World at seventeen to attend Dartmouth College. She recently graduated with an MFA from Otis College of Art and Design. Her poetry has been published in The Strip; her prose has been published by and Her translations from Italian have been published in the literary journal Or, and her thesis, a translation of Adriano Spatola’s only novel, L’oblo, (The Porthole), will be published by Otis Seismicity Editions/Agincourt in the fall.

Binomial (Slake 1)

Pleasant Gehman

Pleasant Gehman is a writer, dancer, actor, painter, and musician. She has written for Rolling Stone, the L.A. Weekly, Spin, and Los Angeles Magazine among others. Her work has been widely published in literary journals and anthologies. She is the author and/or editor of six books, including the acclaimed memoir Escape from Houdini Mountain and The Underground Guide to Los Angeles, which spent nine weeks on the Los Angeles Times best sellers list. She lives in Hollywood.

The Minx (Slake 1)